So, our wonderful adventure started off great, with the Amtrak train being 2 hours late to the station to pick us up in Saint Paul, MN. Oh joy.

It was a fairly long day, but we are now gratefully entrenched in our hotel.

We ventured forth afoot into the ‘wilds’ of the city, looking for grub. Thanks to the decision of MoarGoar on Twitter, we dined at Portillos, where Cassie dined on chilidog and I enjoyed the italian beef with mozzarella and sweet peppers. Very good.

Along the walk, Cassie pointed something out to me that just seemed perfect.

Effen Vodka, the drink of Effen Effers the world over. She pointed this out, and I instantly thought of Alas. If ever there was someone that could use an Effen drink after this last year, it’s Alas.

So, a nice end to the night?

Not just yet.

When we got back to our suite, I swiped through the channels while Cassie did some web work. An unfamiliar channel lineup, no Bravo (damn, we’ll miss Top Chef!), no DVR, we didn’t bring Firefly to watch on DVD, shit!

I stumbled across the History Channel, and what should I see but a show JUST starting up called Top Shot.

Umm, WTF?

Top Shot… the Top Chef style competition for marksmanship.

Are you shitting me? Manny, why in the hell did you never tell me about this? OMG!

Damnit, this is a show I could have competed on, and I didn’t even know it’s out there? ARRGGGHHHH!!!!

I watched last nights episode with extreme enjoyment. It was all old style weapons, weapons I have many hours of practice in; tomahawks and blowguns.

As I watched the show, though, I realized that watching this has almost ruined Top Chef for me.

I’ve always loved Top Chef, the judges, the contests, the whole experience.

As I watched the first few minutes of Top Shot, though, my first gut reaction as a trained and experienced marksman was, “What the hell kind of bullshit is it where you can be kicked off the competition because the rest of your team wanted you gone, instead of for not being the best? If you go home, it should be because someone else was better, not because you didn’t kiss enough ass!”

Umm… oh yeah. Like on Top Chef. I never really felt how unjust it was in my gut when it was chefs; I’m not now nor have I ever been a professional chef. Put it in terms I know damn well, shooting competitions, and guess what? Suddenly I’m all outraged and shit.

How funny.

Anyway, turns out that over the course of the episode, you learn that who goes home isn’t just a popularity contest. Two people get nominated by their team to go up for elimination, sure, but then it gets resolved by a shootoff of some kind between the two… with the winner of the elimination challenge getting a $2000 prize on top of staying in the game. So it’s winner take all, just the way it should be.

“Sure, bitches, put my ass up there. I’ll win the elimination and bring home the cash too. Go for it.”

Lol. Hey, I don’t take all that raider stuff seriously, not because I’m not a competitive person, but because raiding in a video game isn’t exactly a challenge I can make myself get real worked up about.

But shooting? Real world marksmanship? Well, now. That’s an entirely different kettle of fish, my friends. NOW we’re talking serious business. Bring it!

I really enjoyed the mix of marksmanship challenges, variation in weapon forms, and the format of elimination in tonight’s show. If this same quality keeps up, I just may have a brand new favorite show to watch.

Funny the things you find when away from home, isn’t it? And yet I could have been watching it all along, if SOMEONE had mentioned it!

Oh yeah… and we’re going to the zoo tomorrow. Cheers!

13 Responses to “Chicago – Day 1 – Chilidogs and Competitions”
  1. Minos says:

    Once the snow finishes melting, I should set up my tomahawk block again. Still got most of the deck left, too. I think I frightened my neighbors the last time I did, though.

  2. Ursa says:

    It’s especially fun when you set up something like that in the front yard. Ahh to be 8 years old again. Pellet guns, plastic army men, and many milk cartons (saved from school).

    We couldn’t set it up in the back yard because of the horses. >.>

  3. Zwingli says:

    How did you NOT know about Top Shot?!

    Z

  4. Sythe says:

    I live in the UK and discovered Top Shot through a friend. One nice thing about not knowing it existed however is that you get to find and watch the whole of the first series at your own pace :)

    Also, not competition based, but there is currently a show running called ‘Sons of Guns’ which revolves around custom gun shop Red Jacket.

    Being British I have no real experience of guns so seeing some of the stuff that comes out of that shop!

  5. Zelmaru says:

    OMG effen vodka! Love!

  6. Me says:

    BBB – I sure hope you haven’t been missing “Sons of Guns” too?

    http://dsc.discovery.com/tv/sons-of-guns/

  7. Me says:

    @BBB I sure hope you haven’t been missing “Sons of Guns” too.

    http://dsc.discovery.com/tv/sons-of-guns/

  8. Alas says:

    Now I am on a quest to get some Effen vodka!

  9. Jed says:

    Hey there is there show called Top Shot on the History channel that I think you should watch. =P

    Welcome to Chicago btw. Glad you guys enjoy Portillos, it’s a very delicious place to eat. There are many places in chicago to eat, I recommend the Webber Grill and Ditka’s(as in Mike Ditka of Da Bears!)

  10. Mannyac says:

    Sorry…I really figured you would have spotted it. Been watching since last season, totally awesome show. Next week is all trick shots.
    And Sons of the Gun is a blast too. Like Sythe said, it’s about a custom gun shop. What he didn’t tell you is they do some very crazy shit, like building a semi-auto SUPRRESSED .12 ga shotgun or mounting a shotgun on an ATV so a wounded Marine could go hunting again.
    My favorite so far was when they customized a WWII Browning .30 caliber MG into a shoulder fired weapon for some cop (who resembled a black version of the Hulk).

    • Caliea says:

      I gotta say… some cop that looks like the Hulk points a gun at me, I don’t think it’d need to be fancy. A .22 would put me in my place :)

  11. Laura/Sass says:

    I really like Effen. We’ve been drinking it for a few years now, and it’s my go to vodka of choice for dirty martinis. :)

  12. Rezznul says:

    Ooooh, and I’m just about out of vodka, too. How fortuitous!

    Also, when I first saw the title “Top Shot,” I was thinking that was a “Top Chef” for bartenders. :P

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